Big questions in neuroscience and current limits of knowledge / Professor J. Koistinaho

Big questions in neuroscience and current limits of knowledge / Professor J. Koistinaho

Are you interested in what are the key open research questions in different fields of neuroscience? 
What are the current conceptual and methodological limitations? 
What are the biggest hurdles for effective prevention and treatment of psychiatric and neurological diseases?

Come and hear our top neuroscientists discuss these and other timely questions in the context of their research. 
The events are open to students, postdocs, group leaders, or anyone interested in neuroscience, and science in general.
Host / organizer: Professor Iiris Hovatta, Doctoral Programme Brain & Mind
Professor Jari Koistinaho, University of Helsinki: 
Astrocytes challenge neurons as the aristocrats of the human brain
Wednesday 29.1.2020 at 16:00-18:00 

16:00-17:30 lecture and discussion

17:30-18:00 coffee/tea

Place: Haartman Institute (Haartmaninkatu 3, Helsinki), lecture hall 2
Jari Koistinaho, MD, is the Director of the Neuroscience Center at the University of Helsinki and Professor of Regenerative Medicine at the University of Eastern Finland. His aim is to understand the impact of genetic and environmental factors in human brain cells of major brain diseases prior to disease onset and to develop tools for predictive medicine and therapy. His group uses iPS cells representing neurological and psychiatric diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease (AD), Parkinson’s disease (PD), schizophrenia (SCZ) and psychopathy. Differentiation of iPSCs into neurons, astrocytes and microglia allow analysis of aberrant gene and protein expression, function and metabolism in developing and maturing human brain well before the disease onset. The interplay between different cell types is analyzed in 3-dimentional culture systems and by transplanting these cells into the mouse brain. These models can be exposed to various environmental risk factors and brain insults. His group also combines endothelial cells, pericytes and astrocytes for modelling blood-brain barrier. The impact of mutations and potential therapeutic genes are tested by using CRISPR/Cas9 system, gene transfer and novel small molecules. Dr. Koistinaho is also founder of three spin-off companies (Cerebricon Ltd acquired by Charles River Discovery Research Services 2009; Medeia Therapeutics Ltd 2006, Aranda Pharma Ltd 2015) and he serves as a scientific advisor for several biopharma companies and Life sciences of the University of Oslo. He was awarded a Saastamoinen professorship in Stem Cell Research in 2012 and he has been a member of The Finnish Academy of Science and Letters since 2016.